Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has rang changes in his information department – both at his Munhumutapa Building government offices and at Harvest House, his political party’s headquarters in Harare.
The changes are with immediate effect and are said to have swept through all the MDC-T provinces.
The new appointments have been made in the face of threats by George Charamba, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson, who warned that the Prime Minister did not have the authority to appoint civil servants.
Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, declined to comment saying he would issue a statement once the process was finished. He is reportedly leading the exercise.
“I will issue a statement once it is complete,” Timba said Tuesday.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesperson, also declined to discuss the reported changes at Harvest House saying it was not yet the appropriate time to do so.
But impeccable sources told NewsDay the PM’s Office had ringed changes both at Munhumutapa and at the party’s headquarters.
The sources said former news editor at the Daily News, Luke Tamborinyoka, would take over as the PM’s new spokesperson.
The position was previously held by James Maridadi, a former popular disc jockey on national radio.
Maridadi declined to comment saying Timba was the best person to discuss such matters.
The sources said Tamborinyoka would double his role as Tsvangirai’s spokesperson at MDC-T.
Before the latest developments, Tamborinyoka was MDC-T director of information.
The former journalist replaces Maridadi who remains at Munhumutapa Building but
reassigned to take charge of protocol in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Another former journalist, William Bango, takes over from Tamborinyoka as director of information at Harvest House.
Bango, a former senior editor at the Daily News, was the MDC-T’s director of policy and research. He has served as Tsvangirai’s spokesperson before George Charamba, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Publicity, recently said Tsvangirai did not have the authority to make any staff changes in his office.
Charamba declared in July when word reached him of an imminent reshuffle in the PM’s Office that such moves would be out of order.
“We hear that persons are being dismissed or redeployed in the Prime Minister’s Office,” Charamba said.
“No political party can employ a civil servant to its offices, let alone redeploy them. The moment you join government service you become an employee of the Public Service Commission.
“If a politician or permanent secretary is not happy with an officer, the only thing he or she can do is to surrender the officer to the employer, who is the PSC. These are PSC rules.”
In June Tsvangirai sacked ministers from his party after a review of their performances.
Tsvangirai dismissed Elias Mudzuri and Fidelis Mhashu. He also showed the door to deputy ministers Evelyn Masaiti and Thamsanqa Mahlangu.